Mayor Angela Birney has declared a proclamation of local emergency for the city of Redmond due to the outbreak of coronavirus within the community.
The proclamation ensures that proper precautions will be taken to instill good public health as well as the safety and welfare of the city.
“On Saturday [Feb. 29] the governor issued a state of emergency, King County has issued an emergency declaration and I issued a proclamation of local emergency Monday [March 2] afternoon,” Birney said in a video statement released to the community. “This will allow the city to have a financial and operational flexibility during this situation.”
As of March 3, Washington has at least 27 patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus, 21 of those patients are in King County — two of which are men in their 20s. With more than 100 cases across 15 states, nine people have died as a result of the coronavirus. Eight deaths have been reported in King County and one in Snohomish County. Hundreds of people across the Puget Sound region are being monitored for the virus.
Seven Redmond fire medics and one Redmond police officer have been quarantined after being exposed to the virus.
“We currently have eight employees that are quarantined,” Birney said in the video. “One medic is at Station 13, which is now closed, the other seven [individuals] are at home. All do not have symptoms at this time.”
According to Andrea Wolf-Buck, public information officer for the Redmond Police Department, one medic chose to be quarantine at Station 13 while the other six medics are quarantined in their homes. The Redmond police officer was exposed to the virus in a non-work-related case.
“She was exposed to a family member that had also been in contact with the virus and that’s all we’re releasing about her health information. She’s not showing any symptoms at this point,” Wolf-Buck said.
“No symptoms have come up for any of the people quarantined. And of course, the Department of Public Health recommends 14 days. We’re monitoring them and keeping really close contact with everybody, but so far no symptoms on anyone that’s in quarantine. So that’s really good news,” she added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning regarding the severity and impact of this event. The proclamation of a local emergency enables the city to call in additional resources if needed. If the severity of the outbreak increases, supplemental assistance may be necessary.
“Our emergency coordination center is fully activated and is operating on an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule to coordinate response and logistic needs,” Birney said in the video. “We are working closely with King County Public Health and the CDC to ensure the best care for our quarantined employees and are conducting a coordinated response for the community.”
The community is encouraged to take extra precautions.
“You can help by protecting yourself and your family,” Birney said. “Please wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and stay at home if you are sick.”
For more information regarding the coronavirus visit www.redmond.gov and click on the banner at the top of the page. Updates will be posted as the outbreak continues.